College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2013-2014

Department of Anthropology

Anthropology - Applied, Master of Arts

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Archaeology - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
  • Sociocultural - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
  • Linguistics - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)

This graduate program is a practitioner-oriented internship plan devoted to helping students enter the expanding job market in applied anthropology. This plan includes completion of an internship that involves, for example, research, intervention, management, teaching, and advocacy in service to groups and organizations. It culminates in the writing and successful defense of a thesis. This action-oriented plan prepares students for professional employment within their specialty area or continued opportunities at the Ph.D. level.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Anthropology - Applied Emphasis?

As one of the top three applied (practitioner-oriented) master's degrees in Anthropology, we offer options for study. Both the independent research and internship-based emphases give opportunities to conduct original anthropological master's thesis research in the fields of archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, or linguistic anthropology. NAU Anthropology provides students with archaeological and cultural research possibilities among the many Native American tribes and nations of the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest. Students can also work internationally with opportunities in North America, Mesoamerica, South America, and Europe.

Sociocultural Anthropology trains students in ethnographic methods, collaborative research approaches and working with indigenous communities at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Particular opportunities exist in the areas of medical, development, educational and pedagogical anthropology.

Archaeology trains students in theory, methods, advanced archaeological computing applications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), lithic, ceramic, rock art, and a number of other materials specialties, as well as cultural resource management.

Linguistic Anthropology trains students to analyze forms of communication and their relation to cultural values and social relations.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Forensic anthropologist
  • Medical anthropologist
  • Museum curator or educator
  • Public land agency archaeologist


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

Minimum Units for Completion 37
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (may be completed concurrently with the program)
      • Classes in archaeology, cultural, linguistics, biological and statistics
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Personal statement or essay 
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 37 units:

    • Theory: ANT 600 (3 units)
    • Ethics: ANT 521 or ANT 522 (1 unit)
    • ANT 603, ANT 607, and ANT 609 (9 units)
    • Fieldwork/Internship: ANT 608 (3 units)
    • Thesis: ANT 699 (3 units) Students will write and successfully defend an internship thesis in their final term.
    • Complete an emphasis area, as further described below (18 units):
    • Applied Archaeology Emphasis (18 units)
      • ANT 524, ANT 635, ANT 636, ANT 599 (Data Graphics)  (12 units)
      • Electives chosen in consultation with your advisor and selected from departmental offerings and appropriate level courses outside the department. (6 units)
    • Applied Linguistic Anthropology Emphasis (18 units)

      One elective course, selected from the following (3 units):
    • Applied Sociocultural Anthropology Emphasis (18 units)
      • Methods: ANT 568, ANT 569 (6 units)
      • One topics course, approved by your advisor (3 units)
      • ANT 639 (3 units)
      • Six elective units of related coursework approved by your advisor
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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